Carnegie Mellon University

The Word

Student Handbook

Appeals of Course-Level Action

When a student has received official notification of course-level action from the Office of Community Standards and Integrity, a student has seven calendar days to request an appeal of course-level action. All requests for appeal must be submitted in writing via email to the Office of Community Standards and Integrity.

The written appeal request must indicate whether the student is appealing the finding of responsibility, the sanction, or both, as well as the basis for the appeal itself. The basis of an appeal will be limited to one or more of the following:

  • A gross error in procedural process that materially affected the outcome;
  • Inconsistency between the available evidence and the finding(s) of responsibility in the course-level review;
  • Stated course-level outcome(s) of failure in the course(s) that was not commensurate with the violation(s) of the University Policy on Academic Integrity for which the student was found responsible; and 
  • New information, which was not reasonably available at the time of the course-level review, merits re-consideration of the final disposition.

The vice president for student affairs or designee will review the written appeal request and determine whether, in their judgment, the appeal presents an appealable issue that warrants review by an Academic Review Board.

In the event of an appeal, sanctions will normally be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal.

Should the vice president for student affairs or designee determine that sufficient grounds exist for further review, the Academic Review Board will adjudicate the appeal in a hearing with the participation of the course instructor(s) or designee and the involved student, both of whom are required to participate in the proceedings. The purpose of the hearing will be to make a recommendation to the vice provost for education or designee as to whether the course instructor’s initial decision should be upheld, vacated or modified based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. A preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that student violated the University Policy on Academic Integrity.

The course instructor(s) will be asked to provide all documentation related to the case if not already submitted, including the email to the student documenting the course-level action and supporting evidence related to the violation, to be considered by the Academic Review Board. Appropriate redaction will be made by the Office of Community Standards and Integrity prior to board member review.